Review: ASAS

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Review: ASAS

The Authenex Strong Authentication System (ASAS) is a server software-based offering like many of the other products in this Group Test.

The product uses USB and key fob-based tokens to provide the two-factor authentication names A-keys. ASAS also uses USB tokens to run the server application, as well as the web configuration interface.

The key components of the ASAS product is its ability to securely store the passwords and user ID combinations for websites, FTP sites, VPN sites and instant messenger (IM) accounts for the user.

The ASAS offering also provides centralized logging and reporting of authentication, which was a key component for the purpose of the review.

The installation of ASAS was reasonably easy considering the number of components necessary to install the application. ASAS uses Apache Tomcat server and a Java client in addition to the common Active Directory components.

The application uses Radius as well. As mentioned before, the application requires several USB slots on the server to be open. Two USB keys are used for the authentication to the server, and two USB tokens are used for the web administration interface.

We found the web application interface to be a bit overwhelming, and felt that we would need training in order to administer the application to its full potential. The layout of the administration interface was simple, but the descriptions and logical layout were a bit tricky to follow.

Documentation for this product is provided, and we found the hard copy of the user guide and the administration guide to be essential for understanding the product.

A hard copy of a product overview or a quick install guide would be welcome additions. Other documentation is included electronically in the form of PDF files. The documentation is easy to follow and the layout is logical and necessary for most administrators.

The pricing for the ASAS offering starts at US$1,500 for 10 users, complete with tokens and server software. That puts this product in the middle of the price spectrum. The cost is justified since the offering includes many useful features for the users.

For: Maintains the user ID/password combinations and automatically provides them to sites for end-users.
Against: Installation and administration may require training.
Verdict: Good for end-users and a bit tough for administrators; features are unique and make the effort worth it.

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